Sensitive Data Said to be Uncompromised
UC Berkeley police have recovered a university laptop computer stolen from the campus last spring, but UC officials said they do not believe that any of the sensitive data on the computer’s hard drive was ever accessed.
When it was recovered, the computer’s original hard drive material had been erased and written over.
The laptop was recovered by UC authorities from a South Carolina man, who purchased it over the Internet in April from a San Francisco man. That San Francisco man, who has not been identified, was arrested and charged with possession of stolen property. He is not considered by police to be the individual who actually stole the computer from UC.
The laptop containing personal information of more than 98,000 UC graduate students and other individuals was stolen last March from the university’s Graduate Division. UC police believe that the theft was a crime of opportunity, done while the offices were momentarily left unstaffed and unguarded during lunchtime.
The San Francisco man arrested reportedly told UC police that a woman had sold him the stolen computer and provided police with a description that matched reports of a woman seen leaving the UC Graduate Division offices shortly before the theft was discovered.
UC officials said that detailed testing could not determine whether any of the personal information originally on the computer had been accessed, but said that since the theft, they have not detected any pattern of identity theft from any of the individuals whose information was on the computer.